Russia-Ukraine War Live: Latest News

Ukraine has made it easier for people to adopt orphans, a Ukrainian official said Wednesday, as the war-ravaged country observes Children’s Day.

More than 17,000 children in Ukraine require adoption, Kostiantyn Koshelenko, Ukraine’s deputy minister in charge of digital transformation, was quoted as saying Wednesday by the Ukrinform news agency. The number hasn’t been independently verified.

The number of potential adoptive parents is far fewer, Mr. Koshelenko said, attributing the issue to the complexity of adoption procedures in Ukraine.

A new digitized process allows a prospective foster parent to submit a request for an initial consultation in five minutes on the Diia mobile app. Applicants are to be contacted within 15 days to set up a consultation, which can take place online or in person.

It couldn’t be immediately determined whether the new process applies only to Ukrainian citizens or also to applicants from abroad. Mr. Koshelenko said Ukraine’s Children Services would keep working as before.

According to the Ukrainian Social Policy Ministry, 282 orphanages out of 706 have evacuated their children abroad or within the country since the onset of the Russian invasion in late February. As many as 6,506 children were evacuated: 2,278 to other Ukrainian regions, and 4,228 to other countries. At least 1,750 family-type orphanages and foster families were also displaced, the ministry said.

The Russian invasion has had dire consequences for children “at a scale and speed not seen since World War II,” the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund said Tuesday, pointing out that nearly two of every three children in Ukraine have been displaced by fighting. “War has caused an acute child-protection crisis,” Unicef said.